WASHINGTON — Five Patriot Advanced Capability — 3 interceptors took out four tactical ballistic missile targets in a recent test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, according to a Lockheed Martin statement released Tuesday.
Four PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) interceptors and one PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) completed the complex test.
The PAC-3 MSE intercept met a requirement that “supports” a full-rate production decision for that variant, according to the statement.
The MSE version has a larger, dual-pulse solid-rocket motor and larger control fins that double the missile’s reach and improve performance against evolving ballistic and cruise missiles.
According to Lockheed, the test “reconfirmed PAC-3 CRI and MSE’s ability to detect, track and intercept incoming missiles while meeting fielded reliability requirements.”
The U.S. Army fired the PAC-3 MSE for the first time in a successful intercept test during the summer of 2016. The MSE went up against a full-scale, air-breathing target and demonstrated the weapon’s ability to detect, track, engage and intercept an aircraft.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts from Kenyon College.